Turf gets FIFA official's nod

Turf gets FIFA official's nod

Eric Harrison, pitch consultant for FIFA, inspected the turf, giving it a thorough run through and was clearly impressed. “I’m perfectly satisfied with the pitch. It has been well laid and I have absolutely no complaints,” he said.

Asked if this was the final inspection, Harrison said: “There will be a FIFA technical team that will come and inspect the pitch. Things like the bounce of the ball, the heaviness, density of the pitch etc will be tested and then they will decide if the pitch is of international standard.

“It won’t happen soon, because the machinery for the tests is very expensive and since it is the monoson season now, it will, probably, happen after the rainy season,” he said.
“I can tell you, though, by seeing what I have seen, the tests will go without a hitch. It will just be a formality, because this is perfect,” he added.

Some of the teams in the local league have complained about the pitch getting too hot, leading to several boots opening up. Harrison said the pitch needs to be watered according to the weather conditions and the times that the matches are played.

“You need to have it a little damp. Especially when you are playing in the afternoons. If it is really hot, water it before the match like you would do with a hockey pitch, then you will have no problems,” the Englishman said.

Harrison said artficial pitches are the way to go in places where growing natural grass is difficult.

“In places like India, Africa and the Middle East it is the best option available. If you look at places like Saudi Arabia for instance, the temperatures reach 50 degrees celsius and the only options really are playing on sand or artificial pitches. So this is definitely the best option.

“I’ve been to several countries in Africa and I have heard nothing but good things on the pitches. The level of football goes up immediately. Because, instead of fighting with the pitch, like you would do when it is a bad one, you play with it, naturally enhancing your skill levels.”

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